The Stream, June 19: Severe Drought Hits North Korea

A severe drought has gripped one of North Korea’s breadbasket provinces, raising fears of a worsening food crisis, AFP reported. The country suffers chronic food shortages, often exacerbated by floods, droughts, mismanagement and dwindling international aid.

Ensuring food supplies for China’s growing population and economy is expected to be a key goal for Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao’s trip to four South American countries this month, according to The Associated Press. Soaring demand for food and limits on domestic production have made China a major player in global agricultural markets.

India might lose more than 6 million metric tons of grain to rain and pests as the country lacks warehouses to store crops ahead of the monsoon season, Bloomberg reported. Wheat is kept in the open across much of India, the world’s second biggest wheat producer, as state granaries are overflowing with record tons of rice and wheat.

Ethiopia is relocating people in the southern Omo valley to make way for sugar plantations, according to a Human Rights Watch report that has been denied by the Ethiopian government, AFP reported. The Omo river is also a lifeline for people in the valley who rely on its annual flooding for growing crops, but rights groups say the construction of a major dam upstream will threaten the livelihoods of these communities.

Bangladesh will likely include rainwater harvesting provisions in its 2012 Water Act, The Financial Express reported, citing the country’s water resources minister.

The Stream is a daily digest spotting global water trends. To get more water news, follow Circle of Blue on Twitter and sign up for our newsletter.

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